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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Schenectady Foundation provides grants to improve food availability


SCHENECTADY — The Schenectady Foundation has made a significant‌ impact by awarding⁣ $675,000 to six projects​ aimed at improving access to healthy foods in Schenectady County.

The foundation’s Equitable Access to ⁣Healthy Food initiative is a⁣ game-changer for the community, addressing ‌the challenge of limited ‍grocery stores and⁤ the ‍resulting difficulty in accessing quality food, especially for low-income individuals. Since 2020, ​the Schenectady Foundation has contributed nearly $2 million to tackle this issue.

Robert Carreau, executive director of the Schenectady Foundation, emphasized the‌ importance of the‌ grants, stating, “Our grants are⁤ designed to ⁤meet current food ‌security ⁣needs, promote innovation, and ⁣address the root⁤ cause⁤ of food insecurity. We are committed to ensuring that all people‌ have consistent, reliable, ⁢and equitable‍ access to healthy food for themselves and their‌ families.”

One of the grant recipients, the Regional Food Bank of⁤ Northeastern New York, received⁤ $200,000 to ensure that local food pantries are ‌stocked with foods that cater to the diverse cultures ⁣in Schenectady County.

Susan Lintner,⁣ director‍ of community impact for the‍ Regional Food⁢ Bank of Northeastern ​New York, ‌explained ⁤the significance of the grant, ⁤saying, “This grant​ will allow ‍us to ​provide our network of pantries in Schenectady County​ with an inventory that meets their clients’ needs,⁣ based on what clients want⁣ and⁢ need.”

In addition, Cornell ⁢Cooperative Extension of Schenectady County is set to receive $182,000 to‌ expand its⁣ Healthy Living 360 project, which educates⁤ Schenectady public school students, adults with ⁢disabilities, and others on growing their own food and eating ⁢healthy.

The funding ⁤will support an ​apprenticeship program‌ that will enable‌ participants to receive⁤ a formal education with⁤ the help of‌ SUNY ​Schenectady County Community College and⁣ obtain regular employment ⁣with the ​City Mission of⁣ Schenectady.

SUNY Schenectady was also ​awarded ⁤$43,000 to purchase refrigerated ‍lockers to store ​food packages for campus pantry users who cannot ​get‌ to ​the pantry ‌during regular hours.

The college opened its food pantry in 2017 and has seen a steady increase in⁣ visits in the years since. Last ⁢year, 276 individuals visited the pantry 1,519 times, marking an 86% increase between‌ 2022 and 2023.

Schenectady Community Ministries​ and⁣ The Food ⁤Pantries for the‌ Capital District were also awarded $100,000 each in funding, which the organizations will use​ to increase warehouse space and facilitate a multi-prong⁢ approach to food delivery in areas that lack ⁣a pantry, respectively.

The Luken Daily Bread Food Pantry at St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church in Schenectady was also awarded $50,000, ​which‍ will ⁤be used to‌ procure food that will allow the organization to operate every Saturday and shorten the period between client visits ​from four weeks to 21 days.

Kristi Milligan, director of grants and community programs‌ for the Schenectady ‍Foundation, highlighted the ⁤collaborative nature of the projects,⁢ stating, “Like ⁣never⁤ before, organizations ​are ‌coming together ​to more effectively understand and address the root causes of nutrition insecurity ‌in‌ our community.”

Emily Stanton
Emily Stanton
Emily Stanton, a skillful journalist previously based in Boston, is adept at covering a diverse array of stories. Her thorough and engaging reporting style, honed with a Master's in Journalism from Boston University, focuses on community-relevant stories.
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  1. Agree Food availability is crucial for building healthy and thriving communities. Kudos to the Schenectady Foundation for supporting initiatives that improve access to nutritious food!


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